What to expect:
The all-over home inspection is performed by a licensed and insured private home inspector who has successfully completed a course in home inspections. This home inspector has strong general knowledgeable of everything regarding a home, but not generally an expert at any one thing. They will inspect the entire home which is typically completed in the first ten days following mutual acceptance and takes approximately three hours. Once completed they will compile a full report which is usually delivered to the prospective buyer digitally. The buyer and their agent will go through this report and address with the seller and seller’s agent any items they want remedied. At this point negotiations open back up to decide which items will be corrected, who will pay for them, and when they will be completed. The home inspection is normally paid for at the time of inspection and on the average will run $500 to $800 but can vary based on the size of the home and difficulty of the location.
Septic Inspections have to be performed within the past year in most counties, but in some it is required to be completed in the previous six months prior to closing. They are provided and paid for by the seller except for foreclosure properties, which can require the buyer to pay for their own inspections. The septic inspection is completed by a licensed plumber specializing in septic systems. Archived septic reports for most systems in our area can be found at https://www.onlinerme.com along with “as built” and other valuable information.
Well and water inspections and testing are usually performed by the buyer and the timeframe for the inspection usually coincides with the overall home inspection, ten days after acceptance in most cases. Wells are inspected for working components and water is usually tested for bacteria. There are many additional water tests a buyer can opt for, which will require considerable more time than a simple bacteria test. Take these timeframes into consideration when making your offer if you are concerned about other water components. Most water problems can be corrected with water softeners and UV filtration systems.
The appraisal is scheduled through your bank depending on your bank financing. If you are a cash buyer you can still request and order an appraisal with a simple form inserted with your offer, but be sure this form is included. The appraisal is considered the final inspection and comes a little later in the transaction, but generally within 20 days from mutual acceptance. Once completed, the actual report can take another week or so. The appraisal inspection is not as thorough as your all-home inspection, and is primarily used to determine home value to prove to the bank you are not over paying for the property. The bank will loan on whichever amount is lowest, the purchase price or the appraised value. That is why you want the property to appraise for the purchase price or above, otherwise there is a shortage in value and money for the purchase. If the appraisal comes in low, buyers and sellers are usually back to negotiating as to who is going to make up the difference. This usually happens late in the closing process, which can be difficult as it can threaten the sale of a home at the 11th hour. Buyer’s should keep in mind that in a difficult, fast-paced market where multiple offers are common it won’t be long before a low appraisal will occur. If the appraisal short-fall is small, it can be beneficial if you are fiscally able to bridge the gap yourself to prevent a closing failure. Otherwise you could be months down the line still looking for a home. That same house that you could be living in will appraise with no problem later on due to a rising market. Not only are parties to the transaction concerned about the value the appraiser puts on the home, but the appraisal could include work orders that need to be completed prior to closing for the loan to fund. These are common in FHA or VA loans that require the appraiser to report on additional work items, taking more scrutiny than a conventional loan might. If this occurs, seller’s are typically scrambling to get work orders completed in time for a reinspect and successful close.
The appraisal should be the final inspection in most cases and one of the last steps in the process to closing and recording.